Monthly Archives: June 2022

Tobermorey Station NT to Boulia QLD

Tuesday 28 June 2022
Today we had about a 3.5 hour drive to Boulia QLD from Tobermorey Station NT. E got away about 9.15am and hadn’t even left the station when we saw a couple of wild bustards. Within 5 more mins we saw a couple of grey kangaroos, maybe Euros. The drive was probably about 1/4 of the way on dirt. I have spent so morning trying to capture his green it is with little success. We have seen many varieties of birds today. A few flocks of the most vibrant budgies, many brolgas, more bustards, a bit of road kill with a number of hawks or similar and more kangaroos. The Plains have been so green, it had been a lovely morning on the road. After passing a number of cars early, our first chipping our windscreen again, we have hardly seen a car the next 2.5 hours. Most pleasant says me, the passenger and David is quite happy too. We had a short break at Georgina River in Channel Country. It is hard to believe that after rain where we were standing could have 7 or 8m of water above our heads. David is preparing himself for Big Red Bash traffic which is on next week. We have met a couple of people on their way to Birdsville.

After checking in to our little cabin for the next 2 nights so David can do some work, we tried to have a swim at the local pool. David was sure he read it was heated. Foiled again. Only 12°C – definitely not Broady temperature. We will have to go for a walk instead.

Arltunga to Tobermorey Station NT

Monday 27 June 2022
Today was not as cold as we were expecting. A low of 4.5° overnight. Not too bad. It was a bit windy so made it feel a little colder. We headed off from Arltunga at about 9.15am with a long drive ahead of us, 860km of unknown dirt road to travel over the next couple of days. The countryside is amazing and the East Macdonnell Ranges are as beautiful as the west. David loves this type of driving, the challenge of getting to our destination as quickly as possible whilst driving safely and smoothly as we both enjoy the ever changing scenery. From smooth track to heavy duty rocks with the potential of damage to our tyres at any time. Lucky me just gets to enjoy the view and DB arrives at our destination exhausted from the concentration involved in driving along the mostly deserted Binns track. We have been dealt an added challenge, the weather man forecasts rain in a couple of days. Hopefully it doesn’t come early as we may get stuck for a few days. Fingers crossed. Most of the drive is on dirt roads so we don’t know how far we will get today. The scenery was spectacular. We left Arltunga with the East MacDonnell ranges in our sights and we drove for a long while enjoying their beauty. The vegetation and road terrain was changeable all day. We live in such an amazing country. As we got closer to the Plenty Highway we approached the Harts Range and had that in our sights for a long while. We drove through stations, aboriginal land, the ranges and plains. Once we finally turned on to the Plenty Highway we started to head east. Over a little bit of bitumen but mostly dirt we continued for hours. The dirt was good most of the way, not as tricky as the Binns Track from this morning where it took a couple of hours to travel 100km. Anyway, it was a most enjoyable drive and we eventually covered over 500km and are within 10km of the Queensland border tonight. We will make it into QLD tomorrow.

Ross River Resort to Arltunga NT

Sunday 26 June 2022
We enjoyed a lovely night by the fire last night with fellow travellers Joe and Jenny from Victoria. They are on their way to Darwin. 

We headed off from Ross River Resort this morning down the Binns Track to N’Dhala Gorge where we enjoyed a nice walk through the gorge and saw some old Aboriginal Petroglyphs. 

“N’Dhala Gorge is a cultural treasure with 6,000 individual petroglyphs, or rock carvings, found in 438 engraved sites along the main gorge and 240 engraved sites in the side gorge. It is suggested that engraving occurred over two time periods. The first was around 10,000 years ago and the second started about 3,000 years ago.”

We then went to John Hayes Rockhole which was via a 4km high clearance 4WD track. This was quite slow going and a definite tyre puncture trail. Once again, David’s cautious driving avoided the tyre trashing. Yippee!! We did the Chain of Ponds. An easy 15 minute walk to the top of this narrow Gorge offers spectacular views. However, some difficult climbing and scrambling over rocks is required to continue to the Rockhole. A feature of this walk is the lookout which provides a fine view over the Gorge. We did the whole walk which took just over an hour.

Next stop was Trephine Gorge. By thistle I was fading but we managed to do the Panorama Walk which had spectacular views over he East MacDonnell Ranges. This walk offers good views and interesting geological sites. The spectacular folding you can see in the rock faces along this walk were created in the upheaval stage, when the soft bitter springs rock was twisted and folded by powerful earth movements. We left the Trephine Gorge walk for another time.

We then enjoyed a beautiful drive along a dirt road through the East MacDonnell Ranges to Arltunga. A tiny place which the NT Govt has done some restoration of the Old Govt Works and Mining Town. We also visited an old Cemetery and a lookout before heading to a new campground on a Cattle Station. It is getting very cold here now, about -2° here last night. Hopefully it isn’t that cold tonight.

Alice Springs to Ross River Resort – East MacDonnell Ranges NT

Saturday 25 June 2022
Well it was time to move on today, It was much warmer this morning 6° so we managed to get up at about 8.30am. After some reshuffling and organising the car we were on our way. We headed to the pool for another swim, got some petrol and started our drive to the East MacDonnell Ranges. The ranges were very different to the West. The greens were a deep colour and there were much more low shrubs on the ranges. It was very beautiful. We stopped at Emily Gap, Jesse Gap and Corroboree Rock before driving ob to Ross River Resort. After setting up our tent we went for a walk top the lookout behind the homestead. Only a 4km but it was very picturesque. We then headed back to dinner and were invited to share our neighbours fire. We enjoyed a nice chat with Joe and Jenny who were like minded travellers and kept very warm by their fire. It was a lovely night. We all headed off to bed at about 9pm, a very late night for all campers.

“Emily Gap is a significant sacred site where the caterpillar beings of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) originated. These caterpillars formed Emily Gap and many of the topographic features around Alice Springs, then radiated out to the edge of the Simpson Desert. At Emily Gap you can see a large rock painting depicting the caterpillar dreaming.”

Alice Springs NT – Day 7

Friday 24 June 2022
Last nights temperature was 2°C again. It is very hard to get up before the sun is shining somewhere you can sit for breakfast. 

Today we went for another swim, returned the key to the storage sheds, did some more organising so we can head on to the East MacDonnell Ranges tomorrow.

On the way back top camp we popped in to the Beanie Festival. This is a main tourism event for the area. There were all sorts of beanies for sale ranging in price from $30 to even as much as $85. They were colourful, unusual and some even quite eccentric. There is also a competition but unfortunately that doesn’t start until tomorrow.

It is time for us to move on from Alice Springs now. 

“The world’s biggest and best Beanie Festival. 6800 handmade beanies from around the world arrive in Alice Springs for four days of textile workshops, Indigenous culture, live entertainment and fabulous food. A feast of the senses full of colour warmth and a truly unique experience.”

Alice Springs NT – Day 6

Thursday 23 June 2022
Today we went to the Alice Springs Desert Park. The idea was to put names to the flora and fauna we had seen on. the trail. It was a great idea. We saw and learnt the names of many trees and saw some of the animals we saw, as well as many we didn’t.

We enjoyed a talk from an aboriginal lady who shared lots of knowledge about their lives, customs, tools and foods. It was very interesting. I would love to know a lot more about how their lives were changed by the arrival of Europeans. I asked if they still did hunt and gather in their communities, her answer was that they do so that the younger generations can learn about the lives of their people and customs. This is to ensure that they keep with their traditions and lives. We saw lots of seeds that were gathered, the tools used plus the weapons used by the men for hunting. The grandparents are the teachers of the young and the parents are the hunters, gatherers and workers. The men are responsible for starting the fire and the women for keeping it going.

We went to a bird show which displayed birds including barn owl and boobook owls, whistling kite, bush stoned curlew and a vulture.

We slept/watched a short video about the desert and its formation and change over time. It started as an ocean, many millions of years ago.

We also learnt that even though the Todd River is usually dry on top, it is upside down and the water flows underground.



Alice Springs and Ormiston Pound Walk NT – Day 5

Wednesday 22 June 2022
We started out a bit slow this morning as the outside temperature was only 2°. Very chilly. 

After some more organisation, we headed for the long drive to retrieve all our boxes.

First stop – Standley Chasm which was totally packed. Not a parking spot to be found.

Second stop – Ormiston Gorge where we enjoyed a lovely focaccia and smoothie lunch and lots of chatting to people we had seen on the trail and others who joined in who were just about to start. We finally started the Pound Walk at 2.30pm. The Pound Walk track climbs around the scenic rocky slopes of the Heavitree Range and a short detour to the lookout provides elevated views of the pound. From here you follow the track down into the relatively flat and exposed expanse of the Pound. Then through the Gorge and passed the main waterhole. There is no defined trail through the gorge and some rock hopping and swimming/wading through water is required. We thought this was only a 4.7km 2-3 hour walk but we were wrong. We enjoyed a lovely 9.5km 2:43 hour walk. It felt really weird and unbalanced without my 12kg pack. I felt very flighty but it was a pleasant walk through beautiful countryside, a huge gorge and finally an icy cold walk up to my armpits across the gorge, about a 30m walk. It was freezing. With calculating steps David managed to cross the gorge only getting wet to his knees. He sure does have a phobia for cold water. We then continued the end of the walk via the Ghost Gum Walk. The Ghost Gum Walk follows the western side the gorge via the main waterhole and involves rock hopping over large boulders, uneven and sandy terrain. It was quite spectacular. We retrieved our box and were amazed to see the storage cupboard was so full, maybe over 100 boxes now. Glad we are finished the walk as it was busy when we were on the trail without the added people.

Apparently there have already been 29 people picked up off the trail by LTTS with injury/feet problems this season, and the season has only just begun.

We then headed to the Ochre Pits for a quick 600m return walk, they were beautiful but unfortunately we just missed the fading light, it could have been amazing. By then it was after 6pm and we still had to retrieve out box from Serpentine Gorge and drive the 100km back to Alice. A big day out yet again. It was so late when we got back we went for Asian Noodles in the town centre as we didn’t want to start clattering around cooking when most campers lights were already out.

Alice Springs NT – Day 4

Tuesday 21st June 2022
It is amazing how good it feels to sleep in the roof top tent.  I thought I needed a king size bed in a luxury hotel but it turned out that our roof top tent felt like heaven.  Luckily for us Trish at the caravan park blocked out 3 nights for us here as there is nothing available anywhere.

After a morning of re- organising the car we headed after lunch to Alice Springs Aquatic Centre to start the long road back to surf fitness.  We are strong in the legs and heart but need to get the arms moving again.  The facility was lovely, unfortunately the 50m outdoor pool is closed until September.  We did a lazy 1850m in the 25m heated indoor pool.

We then headed to Woolworths to restock the pantry and fridge.  The atmosphere in Alice is very interesting.  There are so many people hanging around, the supermarket is always packed and the shelves often very empty.

We headed back to camp for our first meal of chicken with stir fry vegetables.  A wonderful treat. It is amazing how the simple things in life can make you so happy. Another night in our palatial tent with no mice running around our ears.  Yay!


Larapinta Trail – Tjoritja Ranges NT – Day 19

Sunday 20 June 2022
Wallaby Gap to Telegraph Station Alice Springs – Section 1 Part 2
Distance 14.08km
Moving time 3:55
Track time 4:31
Temp 10′- about 25 check with db
Up 346m Down 400m

Well after 17 sleeps we are on our last day of the Larapinta Trail. Our last night of mice scurrying around our tent. Yeehah. What an epic adventure. We were on a mission today and David had indicated to our fellow hikers he will be up and on his way early this morning. So to assist this process I deflated his mattress at 7am. After a chat with our new neighbours, donating our fishing line, a quick pack up and breakie, we departed Wallaby Gap at 8.13am, a track record. The track started with a continuous climb up to the top of Euro Ridge. From below the ridge looked like a dinosaurs back. The views at the top were amazing once again, it was a climb up and over a few dinosaurs backs which continued to present lovely last moments on the trail. After the first 1.5km up we continued down over undulating varied terrain for a further 13km of hiking through the woodland. As always I am amazed by the trees, and the green as opposed to red I was expecting. It was still a long walk to the end. The closer we got to Telegraph Station the more noise of normal life started to occur. Firstly the planes, then the cars and trucks. We passed over the trainline, then under the Stuart Highway, then walked along the old Telegraph Line. We passed about 12 End 2 End hikers, 2 ladies, a group of 4, a family of 3, a solo guy and a couple. We also passed 4 tour groups of between 10 and 15 daypackers doing varying lengths on the trail. And lastly a group of 20 kids from Brisbane.

As we crossed the Todd River we were gifted with the most amazing display from a wedge tailed eagle. It was the most magnificent creature that glided through the air above us for about 5 minutes. We stood there in awe. We finally arrived at the trail end at 12.47pm. We walked to the Cafe and were really looking forward to a treat of fresh salad or fruit salad. Unfortunately we had to be happy with a ham, cheese and tomato toastie, coke or milkshake and a brownie. Not the treat we were expecting. The next task was to get a taxi home to our car. Not an easy exercise. It took 5 phone calls and an hour and a half for it to arrive. We arrived at the caravan park at about 4pm where I enjoyed the longest shower I have had in my lifetime. It was heaven. After organising the car and our packs we headed to Alice for dinner, an enjoyable meal at the sushi train. Well, we feel into bed exhausted and exhilarated from our epic adventure.

We had walked approximately 252km over the last 19 days. What an amazing achievement. Time to hang up our boots for a little R & R. Thanks to David for doing me on this amazing adventure and his encouragement along the way. We sure did enjoy it and love how much we enjoy sharing these special times. To all of you reading, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and commentary. It was spectacular!

Larapinta Trail – Tjoritja Ranges NT – Day 18

Saturday 19 June 2022
Simpsons Gap to Wallaby Gap – Section 1 Part 1
Distance 12.79km
Moving time 3:11
Track time 4:24
Temp 10′- about 25
Up 281m Down 234m

“Section 1 – provides walkers with a wide range of scenery and terrain. This, along with its close proximity to Alice Springs, makes it one of the most popular sections of the Larapinta Trail. You will get views over Alice Springs and the surrounding lowlands. Good birdwatching opportunities. Allow two days to comfortably complete this section. Grade: 4 – moderate to difficult. Long distance with some steep ascents.”

Today we set out at about 9.25am with about a 10km or so walk. As we left Simpsons Gap we saw the most vibrant Ring Necked Parrots, their colour was amazing. It was a bit of a climb up to Hat Hill Saddle which offered a lovely view in all directions. I am still enjoying the wonder of the outback, it’s plains, trees, ridges, creeks, riverbeds and colour. It is amazing how green it is and the contrast of this against the blue sky and red rock make for some perfect vistas. The clouds have also contributed to some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. It truly has been a magnificent journey. We popped in to Fairy Spring which would have looked a little better with water falling but it was still pretty. We then stopped in at Scorpion Pool which was a little disappointing. A little green pool with a dead tree. The view out from there was quite pretty though. We then hiked on to Wallaby Gap for the night. As we approached we could see Euroridge that we get to climb on our last day tomorrow. We went for the short walk to Wallaby Gap which was a little green but an nice view. We shared our last supper with Liza and Jim and are ready for an early start tomorrow so we can enjoy a cafe lunch at Telegraph Station. It is a little sad that our adventure is almost over.